Launched in 2010, Lipa Karo is a Safaricom service that enables school fees payment via M-Pesa.
Upon signing up, a school is issued with a unique aggregated Paybill/business number to which school fees are remitted. Funds received via the school’s M-pesa paybill number are consolidated in the school’s Paybill account and can be withdrawn and transferred to the school’s bank account through a simple seamless request to Safaricom.
For utmost benefit, the school will need software to manage cash inflows and allocate them to individual student accounts. The software can either be a standalone, whereby it operates on its own and generates statements for individual students showing school fees remittance over time; or it can be integrated into the school’s existing software.
The service aims to help schools implement a smooth and seamless payment process for parents as well as reduce risk of theft of school funds. It could also potentially help improve accountability for schools that lack computerized systems for recording and storing transactions.
As at January 2016, Safaricom has registered 4,500 schools on its Lipa Karo na M-Pesa service.